Chapter

Islam as a Moral and Political Ideal

Muhammad Iqbal

in Modernist Islam, 1840-1940

Published in print September 2002 | ISBN: 9780195154672
Published online November 2007 |
 Islam as a Moral and Political Ideal

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Muhammad Iqbal (North India, 18771938) was a great poet in both the Persian and Urdu languages and a progressive thinker known as the intellectual father of Pakistan. Iqbal was born in Punjab and completed his early studies with a scholar who had been strongly influenced by Sayyid Ahmad Khan's (chapter 40) Aligarh movement. He later studied at Government College in Lahore, and then, after teaching Arabic and English at various Lahore colleges, went to Europe in 1905 for graduate study. He was awarded a doctorate in philosophy from Munich University in 1907, and also studied law in London and philosophy at Cambridge University. Upon his return to Punjab, he sporadically practiced law while earning fame as a poet and intellectual. He was knighted by the British in 1922 for his contributions to poetry, and was elected to the Punjab legislature in 1927. His presidential speech to the All-India Muslim League in 1930, arguing that the predominantly Muslim regions of North-West India should be governed autonomously under an Islamic system, is widely credited with inspiring the Pakistan movement. Major themes in Iqbal's poetry included the decline of Muslim creativity, influence, and authenticity. He sought to reverse this decline through the promotion of a dynamic and forward-looking sense of self, in contrast to the ego criticized in Islamic ethical and mystical literature. The selection presented here, written early in Iqbal's career, argued for the progressive and egalitarian nature of Islam, in both the ethical and political realms.1

Chapter.  7679 words. 

Subjects: Society and Culture ; Islam

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